It's essential to identify the signs of a spinal injury, as early treatment can prevent further damage. Many of the symptoms of a spinal injury are not always visible. This article will explore the visible and invisible signs of spinal injury and other important information surrounding this issue.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)?
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the back. It carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When this nerve bundle is damaged, it can affect movement, sensation, and other body functions.
There are two types of spinal injuries: complete and incomplete. A full SCI means that all signals from the brain are cut off. An incomplete spinal injury means that some signals still get through. This can vary from person to person.
Spinal injuries are classified according to the level of injury on the spine. There are four primary levels:
- C1-C2: these injuries occur at the top of the spine and involve the brainstem
- C3-C4: these injuries involve the neck and allow some movement and feeling
- C5-C6: these injuries involve the shoulder area and will enable some arm movement
- C7-T1: these injuries involve the upper back and will allow some hand movement
How can a Spinal Injury Occur?
Spinal injuries can occur in various ways, such as falls, accidents, or sports injuries. They can also occur during childbirth. The most common cause of SCI is a car accident.
What are Some of the Visible and Invisible Symptoms?
The symptoms of a spinal injury can vary depending on the level and type of damage. Some common symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Pain in the neck or back
- Difficulty walking or moving
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty breathing
How is a Spinal Injury Diagnosed?
A spinal injury is often difficult to diagnose, as many symptoms are not always visible. Your doctor will likely order imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan to determine if you have a spinal injury. Treatment for a spinal injury depends on the type and severity of the injury.
What are the Treatment Options?
Treatment for a spinal injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are often essential to help the person regain movement and function. Some people may require lifelong care.
Can Spinal Injury be Prevented?
There are some things you can do to help prevent a spinal injury. For example, wearing a seatbelt when driving and using proper safety gear when playing sports can help reduce the risk of SCI. If you have a condition that puts you at risk for a spinal injury, such as osteoporosis, it's essential to follow your doctor's recommendations for treatment and care.
A spinal cord injury is a severe condition that can significantly impact your life. It's essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms so you can seek treatment as soon as possible. With early diagnosis and treatment, many people with a spinal cord injury can regain movement and function.
NS2 NewSouth NeuroSpine Can Answer Your Questions
NewSouth NeuroSpine professional staff is ready to assist you with any appointments to evaluate and treat what may be affecting your back. We also have the capacity for aftercare if you require a procedure that requires physical therapy. Please don't hesitate to give us a call and set up an appointment.